Nana Loved Bronson


Boodlust can bridge the generation gap, at least that’s what my Nana taught me, if not so much in words than by blasting the volume on “Death Wish 2” just before Charles Bronson blows the black guy’s head off.

KA-BOOM! Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

After that I was hooked for life...  It wasn’t the violence, or the depravity, or the inherent racism. It was just the idea of Bronson: living in a cartoon world where shooting people in the genitals was as natural as shaking hands. And watching Bronson's barbarity with my 80-something Italian grandmother not only made his actions acceptable- it made them downright wholesome. If Nana didn't flinch during a particularly liquid decapitation who was I to say boo?

Nana seemed to trust in Charlie's actions, as if they all made perfect sense: splitting the abdomen of a wealthy banker just to get the name of a contact seemed like a perfectly valid method of networking. As a result Charles Bronson became my action movie hero, my go-to guy: this wasn’t a man who bothered with paperwork or procedure or first names... just do what he said or he would off you, okay? Do you have some kind of problem with that?

And it was the perfect coincidence that there was a Bronson movie playing every time I went to my Nana’s house: we spent hours parked in front of deep-cheddar action-classics like “Telefon,” the “Death Wish” series, “Assassination,” and the eternal “Death Hunt.” (She must have subscribed to the All-Bronson Channel: “All Charles Bronson, all the time.’)

I used to try to understand the appeal for her- was it the senseless brutality? The less-than-adorable leading man? The tissue-paper plots? Charlie’s stiff and passion-free delivery? One day I asked Nana outright what she liked about the movies but, like all great mysteries of the universe, this one would remain unsolved. She was unusually vague, shrugging and almost acting as if she didn’t know who Charles Bronson was... I’m sure she had her reasons.

But I guess the reasons weren't that important because the next time I was at her place we watched "Someone Behind The Door," on VHS.

It was a terrible movie... but blood always made the afternoon easier.



Date-rape is devastating… but at least you get a free dinner

I have to confess: going to the morgue gives me the heebie-jeebies

Born on this date: Johnathan Swissarmy, inventor of the legendary knife

"Beginner's Luck" goes a long way in neurosurgery

Remember those grisly circus murders? I was never seriously considered a suspect

According to my proctologist, there IS a wrong way to eat a Reese's

I put a QR bumper sticker on the back of my car just to cause traffic accidents

You think Juan Valdez ever gets a coffee break?


I’m not sure what ‘uno momento’ means, but I think these Spanish people are insulting me

These Marvinburgers are delicious… I just wish Marvin could have been here to enjoy them...

I bought my dog a tuxedo so he could shit the floor in style

Forgot my safe word... can somebody untie me?


What I Learned (In The City Tonight)


- Hot dogs are still five dollars

- Cold is cold

- Getting kicked in the teeth still hurts

- No one has eyes on a train

- The people in the streets seem genuinely furious

- Love is alive

- I have indeed become comfortably numb

- It’s time for new material

- Sundays are for recovery

Rarely-Used Remote Control Buttons

10. Good Question

9. Extra Cheese

8. Hey Now!

7. My Bad


6. Cup Size

5. OMG

4. Maim


3. Floyd

2. Dazzle

1. And Then Some




The fireflies were flash-bulbing the night like lazy papparazi. Well, anyway, that’s how it looked to me.

And they walked, slowly, because slow was as fast as they could go, because they had nowhere to go and forever to get there. The warm June air was dusted with cinnamon, heavy with powdered sugar, but even for summer the night was sticky sweet. The elderly couple was almost invisible, indivisible, making their way on down the sidewalk, crossing through the thick of the overgrown grass, after the ice-cream stand, just a mile from the carnival, finding their way to the empty bench in the center of the park, in the heart of the tourist season.

And they sat down.

A bottle rocket squealed, shrugged off into the infinity of night sky, and as man and woman both stared straight ahead, wordlessly, purposely, he took her bony hand in his own.

And he held it.

On nights like this he could still feel every reason, all the pull that had brought him to her years before. He was to the day proud that he had won her, proud of the worry lines on her face, lines that he had helped to groove. It was good to be a sentence in her story.

There was a surge of screaming from the boardwalk, from the Ferris Wheel, as another car reached the zenith and another pair of riders had to be heard.

On the bench she squeezed his hand back, so slight you wouldn’t see it if you were looking. She sighed, and he heard it. She still felt safe beside him, she still felt his strength despite his weakening frame. She knew the furrowed brows above his eyes and she knew she’d put them there with questions, questions a man can’t answer... but for her he had always tried.

The teenagers- out of school- were trying on love and buying ice cream. And at this moment neither the elderly man or woman could tell you the other’s name- or even their own. They had forgotten all memories to be here tonight, in this evening air, in this sweetest part of Summer, to know once more what it was that brought them all this way in the first place.

He turned to face her, and she to him. They spoke in unison: “I want a divorce.”

Some kids ran past with sparklers, lighting up the night sky with pure white light.

The Lost Shopping List of Alfredo Montenegro


The last known writings of the Spanish Poet (1908-2011)

Things What I Need:

- dedbread (large loaf)

- manchovies

- 1 cup tootpaste

- boatmeal

- crabgrab

- tomorrow juice

- meatfood salad

- white say in the jar

- asscracker

- chilkin bingo

- 3 pint sugar day

- beef egg

- angryfruit

- non-salami

- spoonjuff



Pizza Face (Friday Morning)


He threw the acid in her face, because he was a maniac, because she was a Random Girl standing on the street- teenaged, beautiful, smiling. He threw the acid good, like a champion, and tossed the empty Dixie cup over his shoulder, pedaling off into the aftermath, never to be seen again.

The random girl’s name was Sammy, and her friends on either side stepped back as her face began to pucker, the skin beginning to crackle and spit. In the split second before Sammy was introduced to a pain so ripe that it would become its own reality she was struck by the absurd thought that she would very possibly be late for school today. Yeah, she would be late for school and miss Algebra.

And then the grace period ended, and the acid began to eat with a senseless hunger, to devour her flesh in search of bone in search of beyond.

It was a lucky break- Sammy hated Algebra.


 Roses are red, violets are blue, if you don’t start sleeping with me I’m gonna bang the babysitter

All the cool vegetarians hang out at the Burger King

Somedays I pour shampoo down the toilet just to spite my psychiatrist

Just because you dive off the gondola doesn’t mean the date is over

Can you hold the cole slaw? And choke to death on it?


Like a good neighbor, State Farm is refusing to return my calls

I trust Hispaniards… just not these Hispaniards…

I don’t like to hit sock puppets so consider this your final warning

Deja Jew: the sneaking suspicion that you’ve seen this Rabbi before

The rapist is gone... now get back to sleep!

Chocolate mousse is just pudding with a French accent

Just promise me when I die that you won't let Morgan Freeman do the voice-over...